Volunteers collect samples from San Dieguito, Penasquitos watersheds April 18
Watershed monitoring volunteers will collect water samples from the San Dieguito and Penasquitos watersheds on April 18 with San Diego Coastkeeper.
Watershed captains, David Quant, Adrian Kinnane and Debbie Knight will head their team of volunteers in collecting the appropriate data from these two watersheds. These watershed captains live in the areas they monitor and their data helps asses the health of the water county wide.
San Diego Coastkeeper trains more than 400 volunteers annually to collect monthly surface water quality information in nine of 11 watersheds in San Diego County.
Coastkeeper’s watershed monitoring program is essential to set a baseline for water quality, track trends over time, help improve government decision making regarding local water bodies and to create a team of trained citizen volunteers who connect with their local ecosystem. Coastkeeper’s monitoring of these water bodies is the most frequent in the county.
“Coastkeeper’s volunteer water quality monitoring program is the largest of its kind in the state, and possibly the nation,” said Coastkeeper Executive Director Bruce Reznik. “Since its inception in 2000, we’ve trained more than 4,000 community members, who are now empowered to help conserve and improve our local water bodies.”
Once a month, the Coastkeeper office turns into a training center for local residents. Volunteers from across the county learn about the importance of San Diego’s watersheds and maintaining their ecological capabilities.
They also practice properly collecting water samples from a demo watershed. New volunteers are paired with returning volunteers to create site teams, headed by watershed captains who are designated to oversee specific watersheds for the year.
While in the field, volunteers use professional quality, calibrated instruments to measure physical and chemical water quality data. Volunteers also collect samples for later microbial, nutrient, and toxicity analysis. Each team monitors three different designated sites in their watershed. At the end of the day, site teams return the samples to the Coastkeeper lab for analysis.
The data collected help inform staff and the public about watershed health and water quality, and is ultimately used as a tool to help leverage government decision making regarding restoration of local water bodies.
All events are open to community members interested in monitoring water quality. New volunteer trainings take place every other month. For more information, visit Coastkeeper’s website at www.sdcoastkeeper.org, and to RSVP e-mail Sarah Blakeslee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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